Applications are now open for Queensland taxi and limousine operators and licence holders to access support through the $23 million package announced for the industry in June.
With the number of people using taxis and limousines down significantly since the outbreak of COVID-19, the State Government has responded with financial support of one-off ex-gratia payments of:
• $3,500 per vehicle to taxi and limousine operators
• an additional $1,000 per vehicle for Wheelchair Accessible Taxi (WATs) operators
• $1,000 per licence to taxi and limousine licence holders
• $1,500 to authorised booking entities for each affiliated taxi/limousine, capped at 1,000 vehicles and for entities that provide booking services predominantly for taxis and/or limousines
More information on how to apply is available on the Queensland Government website.
Head of TransLink Matt Longland said the taxi and limo industries had experienced a massive drop in bookings because of coronavirus.
"It has been extremely difficult for operators to make ends meet and this assistance is designed to help," Mr Longland said.
"These one-off, lump-sum payments will ensure services can continue to operate by covering operating costs.
"This package is also important for helping Queenslanders with disability access essential services by supporting operators with Wheelchair Accessible Taxis.
"We're trying to make these payments available as soon as practical and I encourage taxi and limo operators to apply for these payments."
Mr Longland said the one-off payments would be administered by the Queensland Rural and Industry Development Authority and would be made following the closing of applications on 4 September 2020.
This latest funding announcement follows the provision of various forms of relief to members of the personalised transport industry as part of a $54.5 million essential transport services package in April.
Assistance provided to the industry included:
• Extending existing taxi/limousine licences for six months
• Providing existing booked hire/taxi driver authorisations fee relief to the value of a 6-month term for driver authorisation
• A further waiver of the annual Taxi Industry Security Levy in 2019/20
• Extending all existing booking entity authorisations for six months
• Temporarily extending the refund policy for holders of booked hire service licences so they can receive a pro-rata refund if they choose to surrender their licence
• Fees to cancel registration and re-register vehicles waived
• Sourcing hand sanitiser for operators.
Mr Longland said the personalised transport industry had played a key role in keeping people across the state moving by providing transport for people to get to work, buy food or medical supplies, and attend essential appointments during COVID-19.
“I would like to thank the personalised transport industry for their efforts, which have allowed Queenslanders to keep travelling for essential reasons," Mr Longland said.
"Importantly, this $23 million assistance package will help keep Queenslanders in jobs."